Baby will be registered - Home Affairs

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Johannesburg - Home Affairs would do everything in its power to register the birth of a premature baby, whose parents have battled to do so because of red tape, an official said on Thursday.

“Whilst we are not aware of the merits of the case in question, we have noted this matter with concern,” spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said.

It was reported earlier that the department was refusing to register the baby because the system did not make provision for more than one baby per year born to the same set of parents.

The parents of the three-month-old baby had been trying since his birth to get the Department of Home Affairs to issue a birth certificate for their child, Beeld reported on Thursday.

Baby Abraham Jacobus (Jaco) Smith was born premature, a mere seven months after the birth of his older brother, William, Beeld reported.

Parents Braam Smith, 43, and his wife, Suzette, from Komatipoort in Mpumalanga, were told by a government official at the mobile Home Affairs office at the hospital that they could not register their son.

The official apparently said he would contact his head office in Pretoria to solve the problem, but to date there had been no resolution.

He notified his medical aid about the problem, but until he presented them with a birth certificate, they would not cover his medical expenses, currently R1 million.

The baby contracted a virus and had to be flown to Pretoria, after which he spent a month in the neo-natal intensive care unit.

Mamoepa said the department had connected home affairs systems to hospitals, clinics and health-care systems in the country to enable mothers to easily register their children's birth.

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